Boro clinical in right areas at right times
Middlesbrough manager Garry Monk has praised his team. QPR manager Ian Holloway, below, thought his side deserved at least a point at the Riverside yesterday GARRY Monk has paid tribute to his Middlesbrough players for emerging from a tough week unbeaten and ending it on a winning note.
Boro climbed to within a point and a position of the play-off places by coming from behind twice to defeat QPR 3-2 at the Riverside yesterday afternoon.
Middlesbrough fell behind early in each half courtesy of goals from David Wheeler – signed from Exeter last month – and Jamie Mackie, but levelled things up through Lewis Baker (36) and Ashley Fletcher (56).
Then Britt Assombalonga dived into head his fifth goal since moving from Nottingham Forest on the hour to claim an important three points.
The victory followed a hard-earned point at Aston Villa on Tuesday, when Boro were reduced to 10 men, and last weekend’s 3-0 triumph at Bolton.
Monk said: “We are very pleased with the result in the end. First half QPR came with a plan to try to frustrate and slow things down.
“We gifted them the first goal and made it difficult for us. We didn’t affect the game how we wanted to. We were disappointed at half-time, and second half we changed a couple of things. That put us on the front foot, but we made another mistake from an avoidable goal.
“Credit to the players to face those situations. We had a good 25-minute period where we got our lead and if anything we should have extended it after that.
“In account of all that, we have had a hard week. There is always a debate in my mind, that freshness, physical side of it... should you change things?
“But they deserved to play in that game. Credit to those that did. It’s an important trait to win when you are not at your best.
“We were clinical in the right areas at the right times.”
QPR made it extremely difficult for Boro, and would have claimed a point had Pawel Wszolek found the net instead of the post in the closing stages.
Nevertheless Rangers boss Ian Holloway, whose side have only picked up a point on their travels so far this season, was satisfied with his team’s display.
“It was a fantastic game of football,” he said. “As a neutral, that’s what you want to see. After our early goal, they moved the ball and we knew they would.
“To be fair, I am scratching our head how we lost it. You have to say it’s down to the changes Garry made – they had that on the bench. “It’s fine margins. We hit the post. “Did the ball go out for their winner? “That’s the new QPR. I thought they gave me absolutely everything.
“When this place gets going, it’s tough. Last time I was here I was unbiased, watching a couple of games when they got promoted. This year I saw my team at least deserve something, maybe a point.”